Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Classics - Magnus Robot Fighter #14

   I've raved before about the classic Gold Key series Magnus Robot Fighter, and I'm going to do it again.

   The series was a terrific showcase for the incredibly talented Russ Manning, who effortlessly created the sleek, futuristic world of the year 4000, populated it with real people, stunningly beautiful women (ah, Leeja!), a smart and powerful hero, an amazing variety of robots, and some clever science fiction ideas.

   This issue (written by an uncredited Herb Castle) starts with a literal bang, as a meteor crashes to Earth near Magnus. No one is injured, but later that night the meteor begins to glow and releases bubbles that cause any metal it contacts to expand - including the robots standing guard.

   The next day, the now giant-size robots run amok, presenting a tall challenge for even Magnus to overcome.

   The story throws in all kinds of clever gadgets, including a (literal) black light (used by the police for riot control) and a ripper-ray (a disintegrator beam). The solution to the problem is actually provided by some young boys, who manage the difficult task of pulling their own weight and not being annoying.

   As always, the star of the series is Manning's art - gripping, always telling a clear and compelling story, it's just a delight from start to finish.

   There were few series published by a company other than Marvel or DC in 1966 that I'd make an effort to track down, but Magnus was at the top of that list.

Grade: A



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